Amazing Audiobooks Nominations

Updated October 8, 2014. Please feel free to suggest a title!

ACID by Emma Pass, read by Fiona Hardingham with Nicholas Guy Smith and Suzan Crowley. Listening Library, 2014.  10 hours, 48 minutes, 9 discs, ISBN: 978-0-8041-6832-8.

Jenna has been locked away for life in prison for killing her parents.  ACID, the brutal police state in power, rules all.  So when Jenna is broken out of prison by a rebel group, she is in even more danger than when she was imprisoned.  Jenna fights to survive as a fugitive on the run and as ACID's number one most wanted.  Can she uncover the real reason why she was broken out of prison?

Attica by Garry Kilworth, read by Simon Vance. Blackstone, 2013. 10 hours, 8 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4708-8233-4.

As Jordy, Alex, and Chloe get accustomed to their parents marrying and moving into a new house that is also occupied by Mr. Grantham, a grouchy old man, they set out on the apparently easy task of recovering an old watch from their even older attic. What begins as a menial task quickly turns into a fantastic adventure in a strange, new world. Their familial ties will be tested as they seek to find the watch and return to their own world before losing themselves to Attica.

Can’t Look Away by Donna Cooner, read by Sandy Rustin. Scholastic Audio, 2014. 7 hours, digital download, ISBN: 978-0-5456-6985-6.

Torrey's sister is killed by a drunk driver minutes after her and her sister argue.

Champion by Marie Lu, read by Steven Kaplan and Mariel Stern. Penguin Audio, 2013. 10 hours, digital download, ISBN: 978-1-1016-3126-3.

Amidst a backdrop of political intrigue, bitter warfare, and raging disease, June and Day fight against the clock in a desperate battle to save the lives of everyone they hold dear. Steven Kaplan and Mariel Stern adeptly narrate both the internal struggles of June and Day as well as the action-packed events which carry the story along.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, read by Corey Allen. Recorded Books, 2014. 2 hours, 15 minutes, 2 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4906-2757-1.

This powerful novel in verse tells the story of Josh Bell, aka “Filthy McNasty,” who loves rhymes, words, and rhythm, but also basketball and his twin brother, JB. In his final year in middle school, Josh’s once safe world shifts beneath his feet, forcing him to find his place and his self in the face of unimaginable tragedy.

Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger, read by Moira Quick.  Blackstone, 2013.  9 hours, 30 minutess, 8 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4789-2648-1. 

In an alternate England of 1851, fifteen-year-old Sophronia tries to uncover who is behind a plot to control a prototype that has the potential to alter time travel.

Defy by Sara B. Larson, read by Rebecca Mozo. Scholastic Audio, 2014. 9 hours, 40 minutes, ISBN: 978-0-5456-7740-0.

Since her parents were killed 3 years ago, Alexa has been serving as a member of the Prince’s royal guard and living disguised as boy. When the Prince, Alexa, and another guard are kidnapped by an enemy sorcerer, her secrets - and the secrets of many others - are revealed. Mozo’s taut narration exposes Alexa’s anxiety over hiding her true identity.

Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy, read by Andrew Eide.  Scholastic Audio, 2014.  10 hours, 43 minutes, ISBN: 978-0-5455-4369-9.

High school senior, Danny Wright, enlisted in the Idaho National Guard so that he could honor his father's legacy as well as get money for college.  However, when he was on the front line for a controversial showdown with protesters, Danny gets caught up in a scandal that puts his state against the government, threatens his family and friends, and makes him question all that he believes in.

Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski, read by Erin Spencer. Listening Library, 2014. 7 hours, 52 minutes, 7 discs, ISBN: 978-0-8041-6724-6.

Students at Bloomberg High School in New York have accidentally received a contaminated batch of a flu vaccination that gives each of them powers of telepathy.  How it affects their relationships and their self-concepts makes for interesting developments and in the end they have to decide whether to take the antidote (to return to “normal”) or not. It could play as tense and suspenseful, but the tone is light and explores the usual teen dynamics—with a twist.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor, read by Khristine Hvam. Hachette Audio, 2014. 18 hours, 14 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4789-5263-3.

Having just begun to mend their own fragile relationship, Karou and Akiva must unite the warring chimaera and seraphim forces in order to battle the ruthless emperor, Jael. At the same time, the delicate threads holding their beloved home world are beginning to fray, revealing a devastating truth which threatens to destroy everyone and everything that they love.

Dustlands: Raging Star by Moira Young, read by Heather Lind. Simon and Schuster, 2014. 11 hours, 10 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4423-7175-0.

Lind’s expressive narration highlights the emotion and the action in this story, which follows Saba and her band of rebels as they wage a guerilla war against De Malo, who promises a utopia for his followers - and death for everyone else.

Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders by Geoff Herbach, read by Nick Podehl. Brilliance Audio, 2014. 5 hours, 49 minutes, 1 MP3 disc, ISBN: 978-1-4805-3324-0.

A marching band geek who drowns his dysfunctional family woes in a voracious soda habit, Gabe relishes his role as class clown, fending off harassment from students and teachers with his own brand of irreverent, self-deprecating humor. But when the cheerleading team takes over the funds previously collected by the band, Gabe will not stand for it. Something must be done.

Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta, read by Grant Cartwright. Brilliance Audio, 2014. 18 hours, 29 minutes, 2 MP3 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4915-0810-7.

This second book in the Lumatere Chronicles, focuses on the character of Froi, an orphan of unknown origin befriended by the Lumateran Queen and her consort (Finnikin, from the first book in the series) and newly accepted into the Lumateran guard.  Froi is given the task of impersonating a first born and infiltrating the kingdom of Charyn to assassinate the king.  What Froi doesn't know is that he has connections to Charyn and the Princess he is ordered to seduce.  Additional storylines are also continued from the first novel, Finnikin of the Rock.

The Glory Field by Walter Dean Myers, read by Ezra Knight.  Recorded Books, 2013.  9 hours, 15 minutes, 8 discs, ISBN:  978-1-4703-9293-2.

Myers chronicles the story of multiple generations of one family from slavery through Jim Crow laws through modern day, as they experience the many struggles for civil and human rights.  Ezra Knight’s expert narration distinguishes a host of characters, both male and female of varied ages, from different races and regions across multiple periods of time. 

Half Bad by Sally Green, read by Carl Prekopp.  Recorded Books, 2014. 8 hours, 30 minutes, 7 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4906-1427-4.

In Nathan’ world good and evil are clearly defined: either you are a black witch or a white witch.  But what happens when someone is both black and white?  That is the case for Nathan.  He was born as an illegitimate son of a white witch mother and a black witch father.  At seventeen Nathan will receive "his gifts".  However, no one is sure whether Nathan will be a good witch or a bad witch with these gifts, and both sides want him.

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares, read by Emily Rankin. Listening Library, 2014. 7 hours, 21 minutes, 6 discs, ISBN: 978-0-8041-2134-7.

17 year-old Prenna James, a time traveler who has escaped from a devastated future world to the year 2014, knows the horrors that the future holds. Together with Ethan, a time native with his own special powers, Prenna must draw upon her own strength and courage, defying the harsh rules of her community in order to put the future to rights and save the world.

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, read by Kirby Heyborne. Blackstone Audio, 2014. 11 hours, 30 minutes, 10 discs, ISBN: 978-1-62460-038-8.

Having just escaped the utter destruction of their home, Jacob, Emma, Bronwyn, and the rest of their bedraggled gang of peculiar children embark on a desperate mission to rescue their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. Heyborne’s superb narration captures the children’s terror and determination as they continue their quest, despite the monstrous creatures that pursue them.

If You’re Reading This by Trent Reedy, read by Ramon de Ocampo and Trent Reedy. Scholastic Audio, 2014. 10 hours, digital download, ISBN: 978-0-5457-4979-4.

Eight years after his father was killed in Afghanistan, Mike begins receiving letters written by his father.

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson, read by Julia Whelan and Luke Daniels.  Brilliance Audio, 2014. 9 hours, 8 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4805-5360-6.

Hayley is the daughter of a of a war veteran suffering from PTSD.  They have just returned and settled into life in her father’s hometown, but life at a new school and the ever increasing severity of her father’s flashbacks has made Hayley’s life unpredictable and uncontrollable. 

Jackaby by William Ritter, read by Nicola Barber. Highbridge, 2014. 7 hours, 30 minutes, 6 discs, ISBN: 978-1-6223-1482-9.

Abigail Rook is fresh off a ship from Europe desperately in need of a job. When she meets strange Mr. Jackaby, who claims to both solve mysteries and see things that no one else can, she becomes his assistant and is quickly drawn in a murder investigation.

The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher, read by Fiona Hardingham and Shaun Grindell. Blackstone Audio, 2014. 9 hours, 30 minutes, 8 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4829-6740-1.

 In this dark and captivating tale of murder, betrayal, and a Game gone wrong, Emily and Damon are drawn inexorably together, both driven to discover what happened on the night when Damon’s girlfriend, Ashlee, was brutally murdered. Fiona Hardingham and Shaun Grindell masterfully capture the raw pain and devastation which fuel Damon and Emily as they desperately seek the truth, knowing full well that it may destroy them completely.

The Klaatu Terminus by Pete Hautman, read by Peter Berkrot. Brilliance Audio, 2014, 9 hours, 2 minutes, 1 disc, ISBN: 978-1-4805-8374-0.

In this the third and concluding installment of Hautman’s time travel series, we juggle multiple story frames and moments in time to unravel the mystery of the diskos. Berkrot’s narration manages to make each episode clear, distinct and engaging and is particularly adept at communicating key moments of transition, action, and emotion. Part star-crossed love story, part alien invasion saga, this creepy, action-packed tale is compelling and inventive.

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira, read by Julia Whelan. Brilliance Audio, 2014. 8 hours, 30 minutes, 1 MP3 disc, ISBN: 978-1-4805-6838-9.

During her freshman year of high school, Laurel writes letters to famous dead people from Kurt Cobain to Amelia Earhart while she grieves her sister's death.

The Merciless by Danielle Vega, read by Amy Rubinate. Brilliance Audio, 2014. 6 hours, 17 minutes, 1 MP3 disc, ISBN: 978-1-4915-1844-1.

Is there evil in all of us?  When Sofia joins in with a group of ‘good’ girls, she learns the hard way that not all good intentions are really good.

Mirrorshade by Mike Wilks, read by Paul English.  Brilliance Audio, 2013. 8 hours, 30 minutes, 1 MP3 disc, ISBN: 978-1-4233-8476-2.

This is the final thrilling adventure in Mike Wilks' trilogy of fantasy stories for fans of Charlie Bone. Imagine being able to step into a painting. This is the Mirrorscape. Something has gone terribly wrong. Mel and his friends have been locked in Deep Trouble prison in the Mirrorscape, while their evil Mirrorshades--who look exactly like them--are free to cause havoc in Vlam.

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, read by Amber Faith. Listening Library, 2013. 7 hours, 28 mins, 6 discs, ISBN: 978-0-8041-6772-7.

Cassie is recruited by a special unit of the FBI for teenagers with natural skills and is drawn into the case of serial killer whose victims are suspiciously like her dead mother. Faith’s narration highlights the thriller’s tense moments and helps the listener differentiate between many teen characters.

Noggin by John Corey Whaley, read by Kirby Heyborne. Simon & Schuster, 2014.  8 hours, 30 minutes, 7 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4423-6985-6. 

Travis agreed to participate in a medical experiment when, at 16 years old, he was dying from cancer.  His head was removed from his body and frozen until a time when it could be attached to a healthy body.  Well, that time came five years later, when Travis, feeling like he just woke up from a nap, finds his head attached to a healthier, better body.  What a second chance!  The only problem is that so much has happened in the five years since Travis first died, and all he wants is things to be the same as before he died.

The Port Chicago 50:  Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin, read by Dominic Hoffman.  Listening Library, 2014. 3 hours, 50 minutes, 3 discs, ISBN:  978-0-8041-6744-4.

The true, but little-known story of 50 black sailors who chose to defy the Navy by refusing to return to unsafe practices in loading bombs after an explosion kills 320 servicemen at Port Chicago in San Francisco Bay during WWII.  Dominic Hoffman’s lends his even-tempered voice to distinguish the story of each individual involved and to share what happened to them in this emotional and important tale in U.S. history.

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins, read by Amy Rubinate.  Dreamscape, 2014.  9 hours, 24 minutes, 8 discs, ISBN 978-1-6292-3450-2.

With southern-style wit and humor, Amy Rubinate narrates the story of how Southern Bell Harper Price, is endowed with superpowers on the night of her homecoming and becomes a Paladin, a guardian from an ancient line destined to guard an oracle..  Trouble is, Harper is more concerned with making the perfect presentation at her upcoming cotillion than with guarding oracle David Stark, a boy she has loathed since their childhoods together.  Listeners will delight in the perfect blend of suspense and humor in this quirky tale of high school drama.

The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos, read by Lincoln Hoppe.  Listening Library, 2014. 6 hours, 23 minutes, 6 discs, ISBN: 978-0-8041-6728-4.

Burned and scarred by an accident when he was a young boy, Harbinger “Harry” Jones, finds that playing in a band helps him get over the psychological scars of the accident and the bullying that followed in middle school and high school.

Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan, read by Paul English and Eloise Oxer. Bolinda Audio, 2014. 10 hours, 25 minutes, 1 MP3 disc, ISBN: 978-1-4862-0467-0.

Misskaella Prout, the witch of Rollrock Island, discovers that she can create lovely, ethereal women out of the hearts of seals, selkies who enchant the men of the island. For generations to come, Misskaella’s dark gift overturns the lives of all the islanders, including the tragic sea wives who yearn only to return to the sea. Paul English and Eloise Oxer skillfully bring forth the tension, pathos, and even the humor in this complex and haunting tale.

Snitch by Olivia Samms, read by Kate Reinders. Brilliance Audio, 2014.  6 hours, 16 minutes, 1 MP3 disc, ISBN: 978-1-4805-8516-4.

Former addict Bea Washington has a new-found ability- she can draw people’s thoughts. As she counts down to her eighteenth birthday, her friend Sergeant Daniels asks for her assistance to draw out information from a suspect in a gang-related murder case.

Somewhere in the Darkness by Walter Dean Myers, read by J.D. Jackson. Recorded Books, 2014. 5 hours, 5 minutes, 5 discs. ISBN: 978-1-4703-9392-2.

Jimmy sees his father again, after nine years, when he appears on his doorstep.  His father has been in prison, and has just broken out.  Crab, Jimmy's father, is taking Jimmy on a cross country trip so Jimmy can hear firsthand the truth about his father's innocence.  Along the way, Jimmy grows close to his father and learns much about himself.

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, read by MacLeod Andrews. Brilliance Audio, 2013. 12 hours, 20 minutes, 10 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4805-6913-3.

After “Calamity” granted superpowers to ordinary people, society began to change. Instead of using their newfound gifts for the betterment of all, these “Epics” shaped things for their own pleasures. David first saw this when his father was killed by Steelheart, one of the most powerful Epics in the world. Now David seeks vengeance. Everyone believes in Steelheart’s invincibility, but David has seen him bleed. And David will see him die.

Stubby the War Dog by Ann Bausum, read by Andrea Gallo.  Recorded Book, 2014. 2 hours, 2 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4903-9789-0.

Stubby, the stump-tailed terrier, worked behind enemy lines, and gained military honors along the way. Private Robert Conroy casually adopted the orphan pup while attending basic training on the campus of Yale University in 1917.The Connecticut volunteer never imagined that his stray dog would become a war hero.

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner, read by Cynthia Holloway and Jonathan McClain. Listening Library, 2013. 11 hours, 15 minutes, 9 discs, ISBN: 978-0-8041-2345-7.

In this futuristic sci-fi tale, the daughter of the richest man in the universe is aboard a spacecraft that crashes and she is stranded with a young, heroic soldier on a strange planet where voices seem to reach into their minds guiding their steps. They are from opposite sides of society and clash constantly, but being forced together to survive shapes a love that must overcome multiple obstacles.

Third Strike by Heather Brewer, read by Alexander Cendese. Brilliance Audio, 2014. 5 hours, 13 minutes, 1 MP3 disc, ISBN: 978-1-4558-3651-2.

Slayer Joss McMillan tracks a murderous vampire terrorizing his hometown of Santa Clara.

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales, read by Rebecca Lowman. Listening Library, 2014. 8 hours, 15 minutes, 7 discs, ISBN: 978-0-5533-9646-1.

Elise Dembowski is a social outcast who tries to reinvent herself with disastrous results. In the aftermath of this crisis, she stumbles upon another outlet that truly allows her to shine, being a DJ in an underground dance club.

This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Earl, with Wayne and Lori Earl, read by Cristina Panfilio, with Wayne and Lori Earl. Brilliance Audio, 2013.  8 hours, 7 minutes, 7 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4805-8545-4.

In this account of Esther Earl's life, the inspiration for John Green's bestselling novel The Fault In Our Stars, the listener experiences firsthand how Esther loved and was loved, and how this unique individual touched so many despite her short time on earth.

The Tyrant’s Daughter by J.C. Carleson, read by Meera Simhan. Listening Library, 2014. 8 hours, 32 minutes, 7 discs, ISBN: 978-0-8041-6702-4.

After her dictator father is assassinated, Leila, her mother, and her young brother escape to the United States, but the political situation in their home country follows. Simhan’s subtly accented narration highlights Leila’s struggle to adjust to her new life.

We are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt, read by Julia Whelan. Brilliance Audio, 2014. 4 hours, 38 minutes, 1 MP3 disc, ISBN: 978-1-4805-9065-6.

Nell has always been connected—even entwined—with her older sister, Layla. When Nell enters high school, however, she finds out that Layla is harboring a shocking secret. Listeners will be captivated by Whelan’s narration, which captures Nell’s anguish and doubt as she struggles with whether or not to bring Layla’s secret to light.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, read by Ariadne Meyers. Listening Library, 2014. 6 hours, 30 minutes, 5 discs, ISBN: 978-0-8041-6841-0.

Two summers after a mysterious accident that lead to her debilitating migraines, Cadence returns to her family’s private island to discover the truth behind her injuries. Meyer’s authentic narration captures Cadence’s confusion and pain.

The Well’s End by Seth Fishman, read by Katie Schorr. Blackstone Audio, 2014. 11 hours, 30 minutes, 9 discs, ISBN: 978-1-4829-7193-4.

Westbrook Academy serves the most elite students in the country, set in the Colorado mountains near the small town of Fenton, site of the mysterious company, Fenton Electronics. Mia Kish is a “townie” student at this ritzy school because her father is head of the nearby firm, but when a strange virus hits the school and kills nearly all the adults within hours (by “aging” them to death), she and a small circle of friends must escape the quarantined school surrounded by armed guards and uncover the truth.

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds, read by J.B. Adkins. Listening Library, 2014. 6 hours, 3 minutes, 5 discs, ISBN: 978-0-5533-9571-6.

Fifteen-year-old Ali is making his way in a tough neighborhood, steering clear of drugs and guns and trying to do right by his friends and family. Things are good, but everything goes wrong when Ali and his best friends, Noodles and Needles, are invited to a big-time party where they come face to face with the ugliness and brutality of the outside world.

Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill, read by Ralph Lister. HighBridge, 2014. 10 hours, 8 discs, ISBN: 978-1-6223-1479-9.

Ned must defend his family and his village against ruthless bandits, while also protecting an ancient and powerful magic. In the ensuing struggle, Ned finds true friendship and the courage to turn away from temptation in order to do what is right and true.

World After by Susan Ee, read by Caitlin Davies.  Brilliance Audio, 2013. 9 hours, 7 minutes, 1 MP3 disc, ISBN: 978-1-4805-5280-7.

The survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what's left of the modern world. When a group of people capture Penryn's sister Paige, thinking she's a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified.